Impressions of Havanna

Good to know about Cuba: it has two parallel currencies! One is the cuban peso/moneda nacional (CUP/ Mn) the other one being the convertible (CUC). In theory, tourists are only supposed to use the CUC, but in practice, you can exchange the CUC into Mn. The exchange rate is 24 Mn per CUC. We got a pizza in a restaurant for 5 CUC and on the street for less than 50 Mn. Therefore, its worth to exchange CUC. But most services and luxury goods (and you'd be surprised what luxury goods can be) are only payable in CUC, as for example taxis, restaurants, accomodation and sightseeing.

The most common accomodation for backpackers are casa particulars. Those are rooms for rent in private houses. Casas can be booked via tripadvisor but in cuba internet is limited and veeery expensive (at least6 CUC per hour). It is easy to identify casas from the outside because all certified ones have a sign with a blue illustration. Prices range from 20 to 40 CUC per room and night. But we found out that you have to bargain for getting a good deal.

We spent 4 days in Havanna. Wondering around the old city (habana vieja) and visiting the sights of Havanna like the Plaza Revolucion, Plaza Vieja, Malecon etc. Havanna is a controverse city. On the one hand there are some extremly nice streets and squares and on the other hand you will find ruins and dirt everywhere. The Habaneros seem to like music alot atleast you are sourrounded by it everywhere in a unbelivable high volume.

Oldtimer everywhere

First night in a cuban bar

Secondhand book market at Plaza de Armas


... and dirt

Colonial style houses

Havannas overview from the camera oscura point at the Plaza Vieja
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Plaza Revolucion

Local ferry to be the Casablanca opposite of the old city

Forts of Casablanca

Skyline of old havana from Casablanca
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